Another Rebel Is Born [D.Clarke Short Story]


And there she stood, her worn out, one-strapped sandals pressing into the jagged rubble that surrounded what was once her home. Once her place of serenity and joy. A place where she could escape with her husband and kids and find all the security in the world. But in one night; in one legislative bill, that was all taken away from her. Her foundation. The place where she had promised to her husband her undying love. The place where those like souls had merged into one through the sacred act bestowed to us by the gods.

And soon those weakened steps; one by one, pressed against the rubble, and with each step, her body shifted in an attempt to keep her balance. She moved with urgency, but the uncertainty of the earth caused her great misbalance, forcing her to fall to the ground. But that did not stop this woman.

No, she would make it to her destination if she had to scrap away all the skin from her knees against the scattered glass and shards of metal. So, with the resolve of a mother bear protecting her young, she crawled through the rubble; those hands knocking away any rocky obstacle. Those sobs accompanied each movement and her burka, which had been stained with the blood of her fellow villagers, had slipped away, showing listless green eyes and a downturned lip filled with the most abysmal sorrow.

When she had come into sight of the devastating truth, her mouth slipped opened, and those eyes closed its tightest, and from her mouth came the most gut-wrenching cry. It cut through the soul of anyone claiming to be void of empathy. It pierced the heavens, and caused the congregating vultures to scatter. Instantly she wrapped those burnt-bronze hands around her child, cupping his lower cheeks. His once invigorating complexion had lost its coloring. His eyes were lifeless, and staring blankly into the hazy summer sky.

Her hands trembled and in their uncontrolled movements, they felt upon his cold face, traveling down to his chest hoping to feel even the faintest heartbeat. It was almost as if the mother was experiencing both denial and acceptance at the same time. Her sobs continued, and they were soon joined with moans, and groans, each one cut short by a throaty inhale. The surviving villagers gathered around the woman, and from their mouths were scattered denials in their native tongue.

Curse the heavens! Curse those who push their agenda against the will of the people! She remembered all the charismatic words delivered by her husband. She remembered all the words uttered by that revolutionary who only wanted independence for his people. To be the masters of their own fate, and not the fate of some fiat currency. She remembered her son expressing that same enthusiasm for fighting the revolution which she promptly dismissed, telling him these people were only here to help.

She thought these people heard their grievances. When the dusty camouflaged soldiers entered her village only a month ago, she thought they heard their demands. Their issues, their plight. She thought they heard the living. When she saw that lieutenant tossing that blue-handball to her son with that beaming smile, she thought, by some manner of spiritual gifts, he was able to look into his soul and hear his cries.

But she was clearly mistaken.The only thing they could hear was the sound of the black gold-waterfall. Their ears were tuned in to the thunderous roars of the hell-fire missiles, and they admired its majestic sound as it rained down. But those ears were deafened to the sound of the people for the opportunist hears not the living, and the dead is only dead to them. And dead boys don’t cry.

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